Pulmonary function was measured in 48 air divers (age range: 8–38 yr) and 56 control participants (age range: 8–34 yr). Static lung volumes, dynamic lung volumes and flows, and the pulmonary diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide were measured twice, 29 months apart. At both times the adult divers (>18 yr) had higher forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 s and maximal expiratory flow rate at 50%, as well as lower pulmonary diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide, than did the adult controls. Whatever the age, mean annual changes in these parameters did not differ between groups. Our results indicate that there were no significant changes in pulmonary function in the young (8–12 yr), adolescent, or adult divers compared with healthy controls over the 29-month period. The mean annual changes in forced expiratory flow and volume, however, were negatively correlated with number of years of diving experience in adult divers and with maximal diving depth in adolescent (13–18 yr) divers (p < .05 and p < .001, respectively). Deep diving during the teenage years coupled with years of recreational diving might increase the risk of airway obstruction.
Frédéric Lemaître, Mario Bedu and Jean Coudert
Frédéric Lemaître, Daniel Carturan, Claire Tourny-Chollet and Bernard Gardette
Doppler ultrasonic detection of circulating venous bubbles after a scuba dive is a useful index of decompression safety in adults, since a relationship between bubbles and the risk of decompression sickness has been documented. No study, however, has investigated circulating venous bubbles in young recreational divers after their usual dives. The aim of this study was to determine whether these bubbles would be detected in children who performed a single dive without any modification in their diving habits. Ten young recreational divers (13.1 ± 2.3 years) performed their usual air dive. They were Doppler-monitored 20 min before the dive (12 ± 3 m for 26 ± 7 min) and for 60 min after surfacing, at 20-min intervals. No circulating venous bubbles were detected after the children surfaced. The results showed that during a usual shallow diving session, venous bubbles were not detected in children.